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Today's newsletter is supported by New World Symphony.

🎶 Gil Shaham joins NWS at Arsht Center
New World Symphony Fellows play Brahms Symphony No. 3 and are joined by Grammy Award winning Violinist Gil Shaham. One-night only! Feb. 24.

Learn More »

Courtesy of Latoya Stirrup

Ebenezer Woodbury Franklin Stirrup, Sr., a Bahamian, moved from Key West to Miami in the 1890s, first to Cutler, then to Coconut Grove, where he became a chauffeur and farm worker at industrialist James Deering’s winter estate, Villa Vizcaya.

He acquired tons of land in Cutler and Coconut Grove over time by working for pieces of land rather than pay. That’s why he was able to build homes for his family and other community members on it. His “shotgun style” homes – two rooms, long, straight, and narrow, a style popular in the Caribbean – became iconic.

He built more than 100 and sold or rented them, becoming Coconut Grove’s first black millionaire and, as a result, a de-facto leader of the community. When he passed away in 1957, he was one of the largest landowners in Coconut Grove and gets props for improving the living conditions of blacks in West Grove. His home is still standing at 3242 Charles Avenue in West Grove.

We’ve been taking a look at some of the black leaders who shaped Miami all month long. Learn more about the others here.

METROBUS LEVELS UP

The Metrobus is about to be next level, with new routes to improve speed, capacity and reliability. Miami-Dade Transit is also installing “Smart Signals” and more dedicated lanes on our roadways to increase efficiency, making the bus an even better option for commuters. Miami-Dade Transit is looking for your feedback, too — share your thoughts here.

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WHAT’S NEW IN THE 305

What the… A Broward Sheriff’s Office press conference on Parkland yesterday revealed a couple of shocking things: a school campus cop heard the shots on Feb. 14 but never went inside, in November someone called the sheriff’s office and warned Cruz “could be a school shooter in the making” but no report was made, and a few weeks before that, a relative asked the sheriff’s office to take Cruz’s weapons. (Miami Herald)

Dolla dolla bills y’all. Florida teachers’ pension fund, the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan, is invested in several gun companies. Participants are usually “passive investors,” which means they don’t choose the holdings. But Florida lawmakers do. After Sandy Hook, a similar pension fund in California divested from gun companies Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson. TBD if we’ll follow suit. (Miami Herald)

SMH. These are all the threats that have been made against schools in Florida since the Parkland shooting. (WGCU)

If you can’t beat them, join them. Ride-hailing services’ popularity has caused some hard times for public transit services across the country. As riders ditch less convenient transit, ticket revenue has cratered. But in some cities, transit agencies are finding ways to make bank off that – they’re imposing taxes and fees on services like Uber and Lyft, and channeling that revenue into things like track upgrades and road infrastructure improvements. Could Miami-Dade learn a thing or two? (NYT)

It’s official. Civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune is officially replacing Confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith in the U.S. Capitol statue hall. Every state has two statues repping it in Washington (our other statue is of the man who invented A.C.). (Tampa Bay Times)

Full steam ahead. The Miami-Dade County Commission passed a symbolic resolution calling on Congress to take action on gun control. But to get a unanimous vote, the commission  weakened its request from a ban on assault rifles to unspecified other restrictions. Hm. Meanwhile, here’s a rundown of all the work Tallahassee is trying to get done on guns before the end of the session. We’ll be tracking the legislature’s daily progress beginning Monday. (Miami Herald)

Hold up a minute. A group of Haitians and Salvadoran TPS recipients are suing the Trump administration because they say the decision to end their special immigration status was based on “racism and discrimination that violates their constitutional rights.” ICYMI, last month the NAACP sued as well, asking the government to reverse the decision for Haitians specifically. (Miami Herald)

Cash money. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students’ GoFundMe has raised a whopping $3.5 million – and they’ve got plans for how to use it. Big ones. (Miami Herald)

PSA. Looking to stay even more on top of the Parkland news? The Sun-Sentinel has launched a Facebook group where reporters are answering community members’ questions. Find it here.


On Jupiter and Saturn, it rains diamonds. Thanks to this advertiser for making it rain on your favorite newsletter.

🎶 José Feliciano Live #atMDD
Kick off the weekend with a FREE concert by the legendary José Feliciano in the Design District’s Palm Court on Friday, February 23 at 6 p.m

LEARN MORE »

Want to reach the right people in Miami? Check out our advertising packages.


BRING YOUR WORST

Next Thursday, we’re hosting our take on Cards Against Humanity and it’s all about the two things none of us can avoid: death and taxes.

We’ll also share some info on filing taxes (because I guess we’ve still gotta be adults) and how to get your earned income tax credit (it’ll make sense, we promise).

After you RSVP here, grab your squad and a sense of humor and we’ll see you there.

MADE POSSIBLE BY CITI COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

EVENTS

OUR EVENTS AND PARTNER EVENTS

☠ 3/1: Miami Against Humanity: Death and Taxes (Overtown)

💃 3/16: Avenues of Expression: Street Traditions in Miami (Use promo code “New Tropic” for free entry!) (Downtown)


Check out this event from our advertiser, New World Symphony.

🎶  Gil Shaham joins NWS at Arsht Center
New World Symphony Fellows play Brahms Symphony No. 3 and are joined by Grammy Award winning Violinist Gil Shaham. One-night only! Feb. 24.

LEARN MORE »

Want to reach the right people in Miami? Check out our advertising packages.


AROUND TOWN

🥁 Through 2/25: Get folksy at the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival (Virginia Key)

💔 Through 2/25: Reflect on love and heartbreak at “Love, Lost” in the A+E District (Downtown)

🍸 2/23: Get funky at Wynwood’s only rooftop bar (Wynwood)

🎸 2/24: Listen to “Black music that transcends genre” and feast on soul food (North Miami)

🔬 2/24: Be a scientist for a day with Frost Science (Virginia Key)

🎻 2/24: Travel the world from a tropical park with Sultans of String (Pinecrest)

🌶 2/25: Eat all the chili at a chili cook-off (Pinecrest)

🎵 2/25: Jam at Classic Album Sundays ft. Neutral Milk Hotel and Elliott Smith (Little Haiti)

📷 2/27: Talk shop with local creatives at the Creator’s Lounge (Allapattah)

P.S. Did you catch our guide the best unofficial SoBeWFF events? Peep it here.

Are you hitting up one of these events? Tag us in your pics with @thenewtropic.

Prairie dogs say hello with kisses. Our advertiser won’t kiss you, but they’d like to say hello …

🐚 A Sax & a Conch walk into The Betsy
And they’re played by Chad Bernstein, performing live for the Overture to Overtown festival, 2/28 from 6-10PM in the hotel lobby.

LEARN MORE »

Want to reach the right people in Miami? Check out our advertising packages.


THAT’S ALL FOR THE WEEK

But if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, here’s a pro tip: hit up one of these six Florida beaches that TripAdvisor says are in the top 10 in the U.S., or one of these Miami food spots that made it to Yelp’s top 100 in the country.